The Structure of Conflict

The Structure of Conflict

The Structure of Conflict

The Structure of Conflict

Synopsis

A theory that attempts to bring order to the chaotic variety of conflict usually begins by distinguishing types of conflict and formulating general explanatory principles that relate and integrate them. In contrast to traditional methods, this book describes and explores the structural aspects of different types of conflicts, and discusses the important implications involved for both choosing and achieving methods for resolving conflict. Two important facets of conflict structure are recognized: the individuals involved and the behavioral principles that govern them; and the existence of options and their structural relation.

This monograph will be of interest to researchers and practitioners of conflict resolution, such as mediators, lawyers, diplomats, counselors and psychologists, and students in experimental and social psychology, labor relations, poilitical science and law.

Excerpt

Conflict is ubiquitous, and this ubiquity is accompanied by unlimited variety. Literature on conflict ranges from historical descriptions and explanations of particular conflicts to attempts to introduce order into the variety by providing an overall structure. This book is in the latter category.

A theory that attempts to bring order to the chaotic variety of conflict usually begins by distinguishing types of conflict and formulating general explanatory principles that relate and integrate them. Such an approach is more familiar to the theoretician and academician than to the practicing negotiator, but a theory that neglects the practical problems of resolving conflict would be of little value.

In this book, we describe and explore some structural aspects of conflict. We believe that this framework points up some significant similarities between apparently unrelated conflicts and has important implications for both the choice of methods for resolving a conflict and the ease of achieving that resolution. We discuss some of these implications in detail, and we sketch proposals for empirical investigations of a few of them, but it is not our intention to give instructions on how to resolve any particular conflict. Instead, we hope that the framework we describe will provide useful insights for practitioners and stimulate further theoretical and empirical investigation.

Our introductory chapter discusses some of the classifications that have been proposed and introduces our own classification of conflict into three types. The remainder of the book is divided into three parts, one for each of the three types of conflict. Each part begins with an abstract that serves as a preview of the chapters in that part.

Part I is concerned with Type I conflict. This is conflict within an individual because he or she has to choose between options, each of which may be better than any other in some respect. An individual may be deciding which car to buy, where to go on a vacation, which university to apply to, or, indeed, whether to buy a new car, go on a trip, or help a relative go to a university. In each case, these are . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.